Yesterday, I started the trek out to Springfield, MO to go see Styx, REO Speedwagon, and Head East. This was my 5th time seeing Styx, my second time seeing REO Speedwagon, and my first time seeing Head East. The concert was at the arena on the MO State campus (JQH?). We had 5th row seats, and our seats were right in front of the catwalk. It was amazing!
The opening act was Head East. I thought I only knew one song: “Never Been Any Reason”. I was wrong; they have a bunch of songs that I’ve at least heard of. KSHE plays most of those songs that I’ve heard before. I don’t know any members’ names, but the lead singer still has such a great voice. I’d like to hear him do some Iron Maiden covers. I think he’d sound really good singing “Number of the Beast”. Before the concert, I was researching a little bit about Head East, and I found out that they will be at Ballwin Days in June! It’s a free concert, too!
The second act was the band that is dearest to my heart: Styx. This was my 5th time seeing them. Every time I’ve seen them they’ve blown me away. I don’t think I’ve ever sat back further than 12th row for a Styx show (can you tell I’m a fan yet?). They do pretty much the same set list, and they pretty much say the same things, but that doesn’t matter to me. It’s hard to put into words how it feels seeing your favorite band live, and being so close to your idol and inspiration (Tommy Shaw, one of the lead singers and guitar player). I remember at my first Styx show, I snuck up to the front row and got a high five and guitar pick from Tommy Shaw. It is still one of the best days of my life. I wore that guitar pick around my neck for two years straight, but I had to retire it because the front got so faded that you could barely read what was on it. Last night I caught a Tommy Shaw pick!! This little token from my idol is enough to remind me that with hard work, you can make your dreams come true. I also got a JY (guitar player and one of the singers) pick! JY was trying to toss one to me (probably because I’m so young and singing every word), but I couldn’t get one. This lady next to me caught one and gave one to me! This happens a lot at concerts because I’m so young. The picture above is from my seat, and no, my camera was not zoomed in. These tickets were my 18th birthday gift. Such an amazing gift! I’m trying to convince my mom to let me see Styx again this summer. They’re touring with Joan Jett; I’d love to see her.
The headlining act was REO Speedwagon. These guys are still pretty good too. Although, Kevin Cronin (the lead singer) did mess up a little bit…He called us Springfield, IL instead of Springfield, MO. He did correct himself, though. Before Styx’s set, while they were putting down set lists, they put out another piece of paper that said “Springfield Missouri”. I guess REO didn’t have that. They played all of their hits, and they even played an unrecorded song, “Whipping Boy” (I knew it a little because I saw REO over the summer). The song is basically about how everyone deserves to be treated as equals. It’s very catchy, and has some great metaphors. Towards the end of the show, a tech guy brought a mic right near me for Kevin. He set it up at the edge of the catwalk and sat in my seat until the song was over (I think it was Time for Me to Fly, but I don’t remember). Kevin was so close that I could’ve grabbed his ankle. Like I said, great seats. Once the song was over, the tech guy grabbed the mic and gave me, my dad, and the lady next to me one of Kevin’s guitar picks! (I have a grand total of 4 picks from last night). The second to last song was a tribute to Tom Petty (kind of funny that I was wearing my Tom Petty concert shirt). They played “Listen to her Heart”, but put their own spin on it (more distorted guitar). The final song they played was Gloria by Van Morrison. After they did their bows, Kevin came to the end of the catwalk AND I GOT A FIST BUMP FROM HIM! Highlight of the week!
The past couple of days I’ve been pretty sick (asthma and a bad cold don’t mix). I haven’t really had a voice for three days, but that wasn’t going to stop me from going to the concert. Concert first, then I’ll take care of myself later (if you haven’t noticed, concerts are very important to me). I was coughing all night with no voice, so that forced me to lip sync :(.
Maybe one of these days I’ll be crazy enough to put down $400 for Styx meet and greet. I’ve met their drummer and keyboard player/singer (they have three lead vocalists: Tommy, JY, Lawerence Gowan). We’ll see what the future has in store.
Also, I only saw two women in the tech crew. I believe Styx had a woman mixing FOH (front of house) sound. That’s who I now look up to.